Interviews With Makoto Takimoto and Gegard Mousasi
06/03/2006

Makoto Takimoto: The noise (from Gono)? At first I was wondering what the hell that guy was talking about but I never expected to fight him in the First Round and I'm just going at my own pace. Paulo Filho also asked for me? Why is everyone after my head? (laughing) Well, I guess in a sense I should be happy.

My conditioning is normal. My usual striking coach wasn't here this time so that is a little negative. I haven't done any special training. I haven't learned any new boxing techniques in particular. Striking? No, I'm not going to limit myself to striking. I never do.
There are fighters in this Grand Prix that I don't know are many were fighting before I made my own debut. They all seem like strong fighters. This is tournament but I'm just doing the things that I always do. I'm not worrying about the tournament. I'm thinking of this match as just a single match. Any fighter I'm particularly concerned about? All of them, of course.
Gegard Mousasi is tall and he looks like he would be good at striking. I'm not particularly worried but I've seen two of his fights on video. I don't have any particular impression of him. I just want to be careful to not fight at his pace. We're the same weight in this fight and I'm not worried about anything in particular. I think this fight may be easier compared the ones I've had before. There's no difference in power, although I won't know for certain until we fight. In judo, it's easy to get inside when your opponent is tall but this isn't judo. I don't use much judo? I do in training, at least. If I get the chance, I will use it.
People are always saying that I'm a judo medallist but I'm not doing judo now. I've already forgotten about the Olympics. I'm doing my best without worrying about the future. I want to win, of course, and I also want to do my best to give the fans a good fight.

Gegard Mousasi: I'm extremely happy that I can compete in PRIDE and I think it's an honor. I've dropped to 83kg for this fight and I think my power has increased. I've only fought at 83kg once before but I don't care if I'm less than 83kg and my opponent is more than 100kg. My power is the same as when I'm fighting in a heavier weight class and my speed has increased, so I'm confident no matter who my opponent might be. PRIDE is the world's biggest mixed martial arts event, so I'm happy that I can compete and I want to earn my first victory here.
What I want the fans to watch the most is my boxing technique. I'm very confident in my striking. I can handle a fight on the ground and I'm completely ready to fight in mixed martial arts. I want everyone to watch my striking in particular, though. I'm a strong striker and I'm always looking for the KO. I try to knee on the ground and I go for KOs by ground and pound, so I want everyone to watch me.
I've seen Takimoto's fights on video and he's very tough. He also has an incredible Olympic record. He can take a punch so he will be a great test for me, too. I had my sparring partner where a gi in training this time and I had a Dutch judoka come to my gym, so I'm prepared for the gi. I'm not worried about anything. He doesn't really go after lower body tackles so I expect that he will clinch in a high position and try to get a takedown. I'm ready for that, though.
Training with Fedor? I participated in his training camp but I only met him once or twice and he didn't teach me anything in particular.
About my name Mousasi? That's my real name. I'm originally Armenian but then I lived in Iran and moved to Holland when I was eight years old. I changed my name a little to Mousasi when I moved to Holland to make it easier to read. Miyamoto Musashi? Of course I know about him. (laughing)